Gette Background

The Gette family can be traced to Henricus Goetten who lived in 1731 in Scherfede, Hoxter, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

The family also lived in Heddinghausen, which is a small town that in those years belonged to Prussia and today is a district of the city of Marsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia. Heddinghausen is a village and also a district of Marsberg in Hochsauerlandkreis, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). Heddinghausen within Westphalia in the eastern part of the Sauerland region10 km (crow) southeast of Marsberger core city. It is located in the mostly treeless hills of the Red Lands on a 400 meter high hill.

Heddinghausens has been inhabited for a long time, since the reign Canstein. The foundation of the town dates back to the year 782, when Charlemagne was here and built a chapel for his army. The foundations of the chapel still remain. Mentioned in a document was the place in 1250, as well of the Knight of Aspe.

The village center forms since the High Middle Ages the parish church “St. Hubertus” with its unique Randebrock -Orgel that was restored from scratch 1998thFrom the previous building around 1230 already mentioned the unadorned Romanesque west tower is obtained. The church is Patronatskirche and grave laythe family of Canstein.

On March 30, 1945, the first US troops reached Heddinghausen. Occupation of the village by 120 soldiers took place on 31 March. Most houses had hoisted white flags. On April 8, the last US soldiers marched off.

On 1 January 1975, Heddinghausen was incorporated into the new city Marsberg.

Heddinghausen still exists, including St. Hubertus church where Johannes Theodorus Goetten was baptized and married. Heddinghausen is located in an agricultural area, which seems to suggest that this family was dedicated to such tasks. The name Goetten / Goedden is common in Westphalia, and is overwhelmingly Catholic.

As Imperial Russia expanded, a great need developed for capable and industrious workers, especially farmers, to settle these new and often unsafe lands. Many Germans, eager to improve their positions in life, began to colonize in Russia.

In 1762, Catherine the Great issued the first manifesto inviting foreigners to settle in Russia with no response so in 1763 she issues a second manifesto and this time it attracts thousands of colonists, largely because of the following incentives:
• Free transportation to Russia
• Large tracts of free land, plenty of water, free timber
• The free exercise of religion
• Interest-free loans for purchasing equipment
• Freedom from taxes for ten to thirty years, depending on the area of settlement
• Exemption from military service for themselves and their descendants
• Local self-government in colonies.

During this time the Gette family migrated from the Germanic areas of Western Europe and these colonists settled along the Volga River near the city of Saratov and established colonies on the vast unsettled steppes of Russia.  The colonists built stable communities, established farms, churches, schools and businesses in their new homeland in Russia.Christian Goetten reached Semenowka reached in 1768, a year after its founding, from Prussia.  He was followed by Valentin Goetten to whom I have traced our family.   Only in later years to 1850 the Goette name begins to take Götte and it was spelled in this manner by Ignatz and Andrew Götte when they arrived at Ellis Island.  It was during the immigration process that the spelling was Americanized to Gette, possibly because the letter ö does not appear in the English language.

No details exist about how the family traveled to Russia. Over time, the Goetten/Goëtte /Götte/Gette family became one of the largest of Semenowka.

In the later part of the 19th century, these ethnic Germans looked to find new opportunities, escape political repression and preserve their way of life. Many Germans living in Russia’s lower Volga River region came to the United States and Canada during this time period – settling first in the Midwestern regions.